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Georg Philipp Telemann – Horn Concertos (1984)

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Georg Philipp Telemann – Horn Concertos (1984)

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Concerto In D-Dur En Ré Majeur
A1 	Vivace 	
A2 	Grave 	
A3 	Presto 	
Concerto In E Flat Es-Dur En Mi Bémol Majeur
A4 	Maestoso 	
A5 	Allegro 	
A6 	Grave 	
A7 	Vivace 	
Concerto In D-Dur En Ré Majeur
B1 	Vivace 	
B2 	Largo 	
B3 	Allegro 	
Suite In F-Dur En Fa Majeur
B4 	Ouverture 	
B5 	Rondeau 	
B6 	Sarabande 	
B7 	Menuet 	
B8 	Bourrée 	
Concerto In D-Dur En Ré Majeur
B9 	Spiritoso 	
B10 	Adagio 	
B11 	Allegro 	
B12 	Largo 	
B13 	Allegro Assai

Hermann Baumann, Nicholas Hill, Timothy Brown  - horns
Iona Brown – violin

Academy Of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
Iona Brown – conductor

 

Baumann gives a dazzling performance of the D major Concerto as well as a warmly sympathetic understanding to the Suite in F.

Telemann was amongst the first composers to write concertos for solo horn as opposed to featuring it either as an obbligato instrument in opera and cantata numbers, or as a strand in the mixed textures of concertos and suites. His horn writing is much more adventurous than, say, that of Vivaldi, but I wonder whether he could have envisaged virtuoso playing of the order presented here on present-day instruments by Hermann Baumann aided and, it seems, on occasion, almost abetted by Timothy Brown and Nicholas Hill. The technical excellence of these solo performances and the ringing sound of Baumann's tone, in particular, compensate for the occasional moments where Telemann's inspiration ebbs; but it seems to me that these movements are, indeed, few and far between, since all but one of the works included on this record contain movements of considerable enchantment.

The best known composition is the concerto in E flat for two horns from the third anthology of Telemann's Musique de table (1733). It's a resonant piece which provides the musical focal point both of the anthology and of the recording. Yet the Concerto in D for a single horn with string orchestra is hardly less demanding on the soloist. Baumann gives a dazzling performance with stylish embellishments and an occasional 'roulade' which not even he would get away with on a valveless instrument. Two other D major concertos are included here; one for two horns and strings, struck me as being slightly dull from the standpoint of invention though not in respect of Telemann's use of colour. The other, for three horns and a prominent concertante violin is rather more interesting. In order to achieve a good contrast in sonority the horns are banished from the central slow movement which consists of an expressive violin cantabile sensitively played by Iona Brown. No mention of her important contribution is made on the sleeve though she does qualify for an asterisk in the Concerto in E flat where, however, there are two concertante violins, not one.

The remaining work is a Suite in F for two horns, strings and continuo. It's an engaging example of Telemann's style at its most galant. A fine overture in the French manner brings to mind in its opening and closing sections some of those by his long-standing friend, Handel. The following Rondeau and Sarabande, two of the most affecting movements on the entire LP are, on the other hand, unequivocally the work of Telemann. The Sarabande, particularly, contains that blend of French sensibility and Italian feeling for colour which characterizes so much of his 'mixed' style. The entire suite is given a warmly sympathetic understanding which I wholeheartedly recommend. Recorded sound is clear and the horns are given just about the right degree of prominence. --- Nicholas Anderson, Gramophone [5/1985]

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